AS A batsman, Bill Jenkins said he never got out in the nineties and always went on to make a hundred — and that's exactly how it has been in life for the Shanklin Cricket Club president after he celebrated becoming a centenarian.

Bill, who has been part of the club's fabric for 60 years, marked his century with a special birthday lunch with family and a number of his many Shanklin cricket friends at Shanklin Conservative Club.

Shanklin became his cricketing home when he moved to the Island from Havant — transferred as an Inland Revenue inspector.

Bill, who amassed more than 10,000 runs for Havant, one of the country's top club sides in the 1950s and 60s, bought a house opposite Shanklin's Westhill ground and made his mark on the first team almost immediately.

Within a year of joining Shanklin, Bill was appointed skipper — a role he held proudly, with great distinction, for a number of years.

During his long playing career, Bill also captained the Island's representative team.

Following his retirement as a civil servant, he continued to play — eventually hanging up his whites when he was aged 70.

Bill, who has invested his life into making the club what it is today, has served as chairman for many years — and as the IW Cricket Association's chairman in tandem for a period — became Shanklin's president in 1996 and is still going strong, looking forward to see his promoted side play in Hampshire League Division 2 next season.

The son of a sailor, who went on to settle in Portsmouth, Bill said he was lucky to be able to remain independent these days — living in the same house.

Bill was married to Eileen. They were together for more than 40 years.

A keen and highly talented sportsman from a tender age, Bill played centre-half for Portsmouth Boys, before moving back to his native Birmingham, where he played as a centre forward for Bromsgrove in the Midland League.

Aston Villa spotted him and he was handed two central league outings alongside former Scottish international, Jimmy Gibson.

But when the Second World War broke out, Villa halted as a club and Bill joined the Army Rifle Brigade and served in Africa, Austria and Italy.

After the war, Bill returned to live in Portsmouth and was offered trials with Southend United.

However, he realised it was too late to become a pro footballer and went on to play for Havant Rovers, until a broken leg, suffered in a Boxing Day charity match, ended his life as a footballer.

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